Recycling 3D printing waste
Recycling 3D printing waste is a topic of interest for many of us !
I am lauching this topic so that we can freely exchange knowledge about our common goal.
Please feel free to ask questions, so that I or someone else can react.
I saw on your video of extruding filaments on Youtube that you shredded down old filament spools. How did you break them down to fit in the shredder?
Secondly, any tips for shredding PLA when it is really stringy after a failed print? It's near impossible to get it close enough to the shredder.
Hello @ellismarshall ,
I am always glad to help you.
Thank you for watching our video ! ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9OuNUuVbdI which I am linking here, for other visitors)
This batch of spools was pre-chopped with an axe, as a matter of fact.
Other methods are possible, such as :
- bigger-scale shredder (which would give a particle size to big for extrusion, but small enough for a fine shredding)
- other tools : saw, cutters
We had to consider the following in the case of PS :
- the spools were quite big in volume but rather fragile
- polysterene releases toxic fumes when heated up, even at reasonable temperatures
PLA strings :
I think I see what you mean here. Unfortunately, the metal plates in the hopper have been mounted for safety and make it impossible to push down with a stick. One trick you can maybe do it to unplug the shredder, remove the hopper, carefully place the 'ball' of stringy PLA straight in the teeth (with great care, and wearing cutproof gloves), then place the hopper back on, plug the shredder and start shredding.
Has this been helpful ?
Please let me know what you think, and I will try to assist you further.
Can you recommend any larger scale shredders to break down some of our larger prints into pellets 2-6mm
a) With the intension of regrinding threw the 3devo shredder.
b) For our larger printer which accepts pellets in this range.
Additionally how would you recommend storing pellets once they have been dried ready for processing? do you use a vacuum storage solution with added desiccators for example, if so which systems could you recommend and if not how would you recommend going about this.
Hello @holdy91 ,
Thank you sharing more details with me.
I am sorry it took me quite some time to discuss with my colleagues.
Unfortunately, I do not have any reference to give you, but I shall keep an eye out for sure.
Storing after drying :
This is a very smart and important question !
Once dried, polymers absorb moisture fast again (in a few hours).
The 3 simplest solutions are :
- extrude the material about 30min after drying
- store the material in a food vacuum sealer with desiccant bags
- store the material in any other tye of sealed container with desiccant bags
Personally, I often dry the material in the morning and process it in the afternoon, but I must say I tend to run quick tests with small quantities.
How can I help you further ?
Thankyou for your reply, I will feed back to you once we have established our system.
I feel it is likely we will have to store the dried material for extended periods so a sealed container with desiccant bags sounds like a sensible solution.
what is the maximum pellet size your dryer is able to process effectively? additionally in what quantity?
Hi Fred @holdy91,
That does sound like a sensible solution indeed. What material type are you working with? For most materials such a solution would be enough, but I am not sure about Nylons for example. In most cases these have to be used directly.
About the dryer, we have never seen any issues regarding pellet size. Pellets 2-6mm should be no problem.
The maximum capacity of the dryer is around 4-5 liters of material.